Dropping the Ball

Being a full time working mother is hard.

In pre-mom life, I juggled a lot of balls in the air. School, work, the dogs, riding, hiking, the hubby, reading. Everything was fairly well balanced with each ball the same size and weight. No one thing was vitally more important than the next and while it took some shuffling around and a bit of exertion, it really wasn’t that difficult to find a happy balancing point for all.

Then Wyatt was born and it was like someone threw a bowling ball into the mix and told me I had to juggle that one too. Being larger and heavier means I have to devote more time, energy and awareness to it. I handle it by just throwing the others up a little higher, giving me more time to ignore them before having to devote myself to them once again.

In general, it works out ok. This past Tuesday it all came crashing down.

Things were looking to be working out – I had a 6 pm spin class I was really wanting to join and Wyatt had a 6 pm cooking class he had been looking forward to for a week. Dusty blocked off his schedule to get out in time for the start of the cooking class. My mom and dad would pick Wyatt up for me and deliver him to the Y so they could also join the spin class.

All my balls were in perfect sync, flowing through the air in matching arcs.

The cooking class information said to call by 12pm the day of to ensure there would be enough food for all participants. I made a mental note and began my work day. Then work got insanely busy. I was hopping from one exam room to the next, putting out fires, scheduling surgeries, talking about amputations and performing minor procedures. I was 15 medical record notes behind by the time the drug rep came for lunch to have a meeting about a new wound care product on the market: one that can actually be used in the acute wound phase and could potentially be a game changer if it does what it claims to. Heck, even if it does 1/4 of what it claims to.

All thoughts of calling the Y were erased from my mind.

I was all excited, still believing things were all falling into place, when I arrived the YMCA and immediately felt my heart hit the floor: I had forgotten to call. I walked up to the counter and asked if he could still get in. No. Apparently they go grocery shopping at 1 pm the same day to get just enough food for those signed up. As an aside, I also had to pay the $10 in advance which I would have been unable to do on the phone anyway,  but that is besides the point. There was no way they were going to let him in.

I felt terrible as I saw my big old bowling ball came crashing down on the ground. I had messed up and my best little man was going to be heart broken because of it.

He came walking in about 10 minutes later with a huge smile telling me he was all ready for his cooking class. Take a wild guess how well he took the news that Mommy forgot to call and he couldn’t participate.

I wanted to cry.

In the end he probably had even more fun playing basketball with his dad on the court (specially when they lowered the hoop for him) and then running around on the track. But still…I knew I had let him down. Letting your kid down is a terrible feeling. I don’t suggest you try it.

In the grander scheme of things, missing a cooking class isn’t so bad. He was none the worse for it and had his own fun, but still. It just made me realize that my juggling skills aren’t so good after all. Nothing like a big old piece of humble pie to start your week.

Keeping everything running smoothly is hard. Its why I stopped riding many months ago when the horses were so far away and the timing just wasn’t working out. Its why having them home now is such a big deal. I scheduled a riding lesson with a new trainer for Sunday at 4:30pm. At my house. Its going to be amazing. Anything I can do to lighten the load, to even things out. Anything I can do to help keep those balls moving in flawless arcs up above my head.



9 thoughts on “Dropping the Ball”

  1. That’s an excellent analogy! And something I’ve been feeling since having my little boy last year.

    Good luck with your lesson. It’s exciting you found someone who will come out to your place.


  2. This is a great metaphor (and precisely why I don’t think I could handle being a mom… I can barely keep my tennis balls aloft). I’m glad Wyatt was no worse for the wear, but I’m sorry you felt that you let him down. I admire your ability to keep your life as balanced as you do.


  3. Don’t be too hard on yourself- we all make mistakes. There will be other cooking classes in the future! Excited to read about the lesson, good luck to you and Gem (:


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